A recent study reveals that Instagram is the most damaging social media site to the mental health and well-being of young people. The Royal Society of Public Health and the Young Health Movement published the report, #StatusOfMind, that featured them asking 1,500 individuals ranging in ages from 14 to 24 to rank the five most popular social networks—Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube—based on 14 mental health issues, such as bullying and body anxiety.
While YouTube was the only social network that came away with a positive rating, the other four left people feeling worse in terms of anxiety. Snapchat finished behind Instagram as the most harmful, followed by Facebook. Shirley Cramer, CBE, chief executive of RSPH, believes that Instagram and Snapchat's ranking on this survey points to how the "image-focused" nature of these sites affects the mental health of today's young people. "It’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and well-being—both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people," she said in a statement.
The report also shows that one in six young people will experience an anxiety disorder in their life. So how does one lessen their odds? Simply limit your time on these social networks to less than two hours per day. Of course, we all know that's easier said than done. When you find yourself at a dinner with friends, what are you supposed to do? Talk to them? Nah, you gotta see what's going on on the 'gram!